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Newspaper Contest for BF Warplan


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Our local paper had a little contest for your BF "warplan" here's my entry!!




It's probably detrimental to my mission to advertise all of my Black Friday secrets but for you I'll do it anyway!!


My Army: My Black Friday army consists of only myself and my mother. It's mandatory that you have at least two people so that you have someone to hold your place in line when you have to leave to go to the restroom ... but anymore than that slows you down. Many relatives have asked to come but this is a top secret stealth mission and information is on a need to know basis. Do not agree to get items for others unless it is an item you're already getting... it will only slow you down and if they're too lazy to get up themselves more deals for you!!


Reconnaissance: Planning is absolutely essential for Black Friday. You need to know what's out there, how much it is, where it is, and have an alternate game plan for stuff you miss out on. My ultimate guide is the forum Gottadeal.com. I have been a member since 2004 and have gotten my best stuff there. This site has many of the black friday ads out online way before they are actually released. There are several posted already with the first being posted in early September. They even have a shopping list where you can click the items you're going for and it puts a list together for you.... handy!! Scout the stores that you will be going to, and determine possible locations for the items you're looking for (know where the toy department is if you're buying a toy). A few stores (Sears and Walmart) let you price match on Black Friday. So I often scout these stores to see if they have items I want at stores I'm not planning on going to, and if they do I bring that stores ad to Walmart and they will match the price on Black Friday, so I get the same items, same price, with no fight or hassle. Some stores like Target won't price match other stores but will price match themselves, so if you want an item that goes on sale there you may be able to to buy it a few days early, then go to Target during the sale an ask them to refund the difference.


Dry Run: Test out your shopping stamina at K-Mart on Thanksgiving day, see if you have what it takes!! More stores like K-Mart are now having sales on Turkey day, and if you can't do it today you most certainly won't make it tomorrow!!


Equipment: I put together a binder with the ads of the items that I am going to buy. This is handy so that you know where they are, and when you get into the store you have a picture of the item to show the salespeople when you can't find it and they have no clue what you're talking about. It's also necessary to show at the register when price matching. You also need line equipment: lawn chairs, food, drinks, games, a radio and blankets to keep us comfortable. Don't bring a big purse, bring a small bag with just ID, money and credit cards which you can leave in the car while you're waiting in line... or even better put them in your pocket.


Uniform: Layer for the weather. Wear comfortable shoes and a Gottadeal T-Shirt then layer a sweater or coat depending on how cold it is that night.


Communication Device: Cellphones are essential!! We didn't bring them one year and spent 45 minutes at opposite of ends Brandsmart in line waiting for the other one to come back with the stuff.


Location: We decide which item we want the most and park ourselves there that night. Generally this is Best Buy or Circuit City for big ticket electronic items. These two stores do a ticketing system where they come out a couple of hours before the sale and hand tickets to the people in line for the items they want. So if you get there early enough you're virtually guaranteed the item you came for, whereas at some of the other stores you could be first in line only to be trampled when the doors open and lose your prize. If you live in a big city that may have 2 Best Buys, pick the one that is closer to other stores you are going to, or if you're planning on being there all night one with a 24hour gas station or restaurant nearby for bathrooms and snacks. Once we have our first item we travel to the next stores on the list by opening time (usually Target, Brandsmart etc)and end up at Walmart to price match all the items we've missed.


Online option: Many of the items are available on line and start being sold on Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday at 12am.. they may offer free shipping and you don't need to waste your time in line.


Time: 2000 hours on Thanksgiving Day, we're normally in line by 8pm the night before if we're looking for a big ticket item... and we're not the first in line!


Method of Operation: Strategies for the hunt. Park as close to the parking lot entrance as you can (far away from the store entrance) and back in for a quick and easy getaway. Talk to the salespeople who come outside, and ask them where the items you are going for will be located. (Some stores like Walmart have the items randomly spread out in aisles around the store... don't go to a 24 hour Walmart or you will have hoards of people waiting around a covered pallet to jump into a pigpile when the cover is removed). Bring your chairs and equipment back to the car about 45 minutes before the store opens and keep an eye out for the line jumpers who start arriving now. When the doors open, split up. If you need several items assign them to each person and then meet back at the register, or if you have only one or two send one person to get in line at the register and the other to get the items. The idea is to get in and get out, no browsing. If you get stuck in line at Best Buy or god forbid Toys R Us your day is over, you could be waiting there for hours!!!


Plan B: Don't want to wait all night or have to go to work? Pay a teenager to be a line sitter for you, it's amazing what they'll do for cash!!


Additional Scenarios:

Man Down: If you lose a shopping buddy in the initial rush keep going!! Hopefully they can throw a full body block

for you on the way down. They will be much happier about getting pushed out of the way if you can grab what

they were going for.

Line Jumpers: Get enough people in line with you to start the chant "get in line" most people get a little nervous

when a couple hundred tired angry people have them in their sights.

Slow Register People: Today is not the day to get into Bessie's line. Watch the sales people and if your clerk rings

up one sale to two of everyone elses you're in the wrong line.


Target: This year we will be shopping for a 42" plasma TV, so we will probably be out at one of the big box retailers just after eating Turkey this year. Hope to see you there!!! (well at least behind me in line anyway!)

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